HomeTag SMS T2

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At 24-years-old, Julia Kern is quickly becoming a seasoned veteran in her 7th year on the U.S. Ski Team. However, her career trajectory has been stepwise, not exponential.  After making breakthroughs during the 2019-20 season, including her first World Cup podium in a skate sprint in Planica, Slovenia, she faced injuries and setbacks heading into the following season in 2020-2021, leaving her walking away from that season feeling disappointed in both her World Cup and...

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After eight years at the helm of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) T2 team, head coach Pat O’Brien is in the process of taking a few steps back, passing the reins to Perry Thomas, who has spent the last five years as the assistant coach at the University of Vermont. Perhaps highlighting this transition and the sharing of responsibilities the two are in the process of navigating, FasterSkier connected with Thomas in mid-May while he...

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Anyone who has had the pleasure of interacting with Katharine Ogden, also commonly known as KO, can tell you that she is humorous, kind, and thoughtful – both in regard to others as well as in her own self-introspection. She is also a wicked good skier, proving herself both nationally and internationally in competition. Ogden recently shared that she was stepping away from professional skiing, having already experienced a range of career ups and downs...

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“You need some Gordie Howe elbows out there today” said the commentator on the live feed at one point during Friday’s Team Sprint in Whistler. You know, just in case you needed a reminder that this is Canadian Nationals. Alongside his legacy as one of hockey’s greatest players of all time, leaving his mark on the sport as an indomitable force with both his goal scoring and dynamism on the ice,   Howe was known as...

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SuperTour racing continued on Friday in Craftsbury, Vermont, as part of the Henchey Memorial Carnival, which also included Eastern Cup and collegiate racing. The three-day event is presented by the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, NENSA, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, and the University of Vermont (UVM), the EISA carnival host school. Racers were faced with snowy conditions for the opening 1.4-kilometer freestyle sprint as a winter storm made its way across the Northeast. Friday morning’s grooming report...

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By Rachel Bachman Perkins and Ben Theyerl After a brief break, the SuperTour picked up in Lake Placid this weekend, with a fluoro-free Period III kicking off with a 1.5-kilometer classic sprint. The frigid forecast called for overnight lows of -5 Fahrenheit, with a wind chill as low as -23F. Highs during the day were only predicted to climb into the low single digits. Qualifiers were scheduled for 10/10:45 am, with quarterfinals for the open...

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Last year, in an effort to create a standardized workout that could be easily replicated and repeated, national team coaches presented the concept of the “U.S. Pace Project.” The concept is straightforward: a shift away from time-based intervals to distance-based, centered around repeated laps of a 5-kilometer course. This familiar distance is key. In a call in July, Matt Whitcomb, U.S. Ski Team Head Coach, and one of the creators of the project explained that:...

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By Rachel Bachman Perkins and Ben Theyerl  Precipitation was no longer a threat for the final day of racing in Soldier Hollow on Friday, a 1.5-kilometer classic sprint offered alongside the 2022 U.S. Cross Country Championships, yet classified as SuperTour only. However, athletes still faced unseasonably warm weather as blazing sun brought temperatures into the low 50’s on course during the midday heats.  Howling wind and rippling bibs could be heard as background noise as...

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As summer turned to fall, skiers from the Stratton Mountain School T2 team (SMS T2), the Sun Valley Gold Team (SVSEF), and the Bridger Ski Foundation Pro Team (BSF) met in Lake Placid, NY for a collaborative training camp, capped off with two stages of rollerski racing. The weekend featured a freestyle sprint event — The Keys to the Castle — on the rollerski track at Mt Van Hoevenberg, followed by a distance stage dubbed...

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With temperatures dropping steadily each day and the first signs of winter visible on distant mountaintops, the mind of a skier inevitably turns towards thoughts of snow. For the professionals this goes one step further: how and when can they get on snow before the season starts? In the US, pre-season snow time is limited. Once the snow disappears on Mount Bachelor, the Eagle Glacier in Alaska is typically the only domestic pre-season skiing available,...

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Perhaps, by the time you read this, Sophie Caldwell will have already sped her way around the sprint circuit in Ruka, Finland. The World Cup begins on Friday. At once Caldwell possesses a down-to-earth humility and a killer’s instinct to find the gaps and repeatedly progress through World Cup sprint heats. Off the course, she’s more likely to ask about your day than she is to dwell on a World Cup podium. We caught up...

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Kelsey Phinney brings to the sport of cross-country skiing a big-world view as she has rolled with challenges and fine-tuned her athletic performances. First things first: Phinney has become a voice for Parkinson’s Disease advocacy and education. She produced this great podcast episode for the Davis Phinney Foundation titled The Neuroscience of Parkinson’s — it’s part of a broader series from Phinney called The Parkinson’s Podcast.  Phinney’s father, himself a former professional cyclist who was diagnosed...

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“I am not making them great. They are making themselves great.” – Sverre Caldwell Long-time Stratton Mountain School (SMS) coach Sverre Caldwell will step down at the end of this school year. According to an article in the Bennington Banner, during Caldwell’s tenure, SMS sent 15 cross-country skiers to the Winter Olympics. SMS also had at least one Junior National champion and one World Junior team member for 24 consecutive years. Caldwell was U.S. Ski...

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Sunday was the day. The day of all days when SuperTour Finals in Presque Isles, Maine witnessed the fastest 4 x 5-kilometer mixed relay team in the land. Over the last four years of the mixed relay competition at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard SuperTour Finals, also known as Spring Series, Alaska Pacific University APU won the first two iterations of the event, SMS T2 the two most recent. The foursome comprising APU 1: Rosie Brennan,...

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  Since Dec. 1,  twenty-one-year-old Julia Kern (SMS-T2) has barnstormed the elite level domestic racing calendar. She qualified first and won the SuperTour freestyle sprint in West Yellowstone. The following weekend in the NorAm/SuperTour skate sprint in Sovereign Lake it was another win-win in the qualifier and final. In the next day’s 10-kilometer classic, Kern was third overall and the second American. Last weekend back in Vermont at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Kern swept the...

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It’s back! In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at next week’s International Ski Federation (FIS) 2018 Nordic Junior/U23 World Championships in Goms, Switzerland, we asked those qualifying athletes several questions about themselves — actually, we had them fill in the blanks. Here we have 20-year-old Julia Kern, of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) T2 Team and U.S. Ski Team Development Team, who’s representing the U.S. at her first U23 Worlds (she’s been to Junior...

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After scoring World Cup points in her first try as part of the U.S. Nations Group roster in Canada last season, Julia Kern is getting a crack at the European World Cup scene this winter. The 20-year-old Stratton Mountain School (SMS) Elite Team member, Dartmouth College student, and U.S. Ski Team D-teamer has been finding her place, surrounded by teammates who have racked up three sprint podiums so far this season. “The early season World...